I am truly blessed to live the way I do and to be able to help where I can. I have actually been home for a week. I wish I would have been able to write while on the road but I was unable to access this site. So many emotions pass through me while I am in Ethiopia, I sometimes find it difficult to put them into words. But here goes...........
This trip brought about a whole new wave of feelings. My role has changed from my first volunteer visit. Then I thought it would only be a one time visit. (Although one of my brother in laws told me that I would go again before I had even been the first time.) Now, I am one of the people responsible for the well being of the school, children, and some parents.
The first couple of nights I did not sleep to well because of all the thoughts going through my head. The school needs alot. We need to continue to raise money to feed the children and run the school, but we also really need to build a new school. Many of things in the school are functional but sort of pieced together. The new kitchen has been built and they are using it, but there is no floor (very expensive for cement) so they have been putting down plastic covering to try to keep the mud at bay. It is the rainy season now and it really rains hard!
I sometimes wonder what I am doing. Have I taken on too much? As I am using some less than desirable toilet facilities, I remind myself that I am doing what God wants me to do. I really do know this is my purpose in life. After 43 years things are right where they are supposed to be. I have a wonderful and supportive husband. My family and friends are amazing. And I love the people of Ethiopia. The children are wonderful. The mothers who have their after school craft cooperative are some of the strongest and most powerful women I know. They endure such hardships, and through absolutely no fault of their own, live in extreme poverty. The have been working so hard on their jewelry and finally have, many for the first time ever, an income. Muday, the director, school founder, and resident angel, helped them to all open a bank account with about $5.00 each!
Muday really is a saint. She cares so much for these children and parents. She has no problem taking any one of the family members that may be sick, to the hospital for care. She wants to add a grade level every year so the students don't drop out of the government schools once they leave Fresh and Green Academy. A huge percentage of the students do because the government schools don't have a food program and they don't eat at home, so they are back on the streets begging instead of in school. It is a terrible cycle. She would like to have sleeping facilities in the school for the students who sometimes get left at school by their parents. (Some of them walk over an hour to get to school. And uphill both ways barefoot in the snow isn't too far off! Ok, maybe the snow part.)
I do love Ethiopia and its people and especially the new "family" I have at Fresh and Green Academy. I know I have not taken on an easy task, there is great deal of work that needs to be done, but I also know with much help and prayer I will one day see these young children graduate from the University and live healthy and happy lives.
Thank you for you support!